Match ends, Motherwell 4, Hamilton Academical 0.
- Lionel Ainsworth hits quick-fire double
- John Sutton adds two more to complete rout
- Motherwell move four points clear of bottom
- Hamilton now 11 games without a win
Motherwell continued their recent resurgence as two goals each from Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton helped ensure an emphatic win over Hamilton.
Ainsworth netted twice within a minute to put Motherwell comfortably ahead after the break.
Hamilton's Darren Lyon was red carded for a late lunge on Marvin Johnston before Sutton headed in a third.
When Ziggy Gordon brought down Lee Erwin in the box, Sutton added the fourth from the penalty spot.
It was Motherwell's first Lanarkshire Derby win of the season and moved the Scottish Premiership strugglers four points clear of bottom-placed St Mirren.
For Hamilton player-manager Martin Canning, the search continues for a first win since taking charge.
With a 4-0 win though on their last trip to Fir Park they settled into their surroundings early with the better of the opening exchanges - Ali Crawford and Grant Gillespie firing efforts at goal.
The game followed a similar pattern with long but unthreatening Hamilton efforts until Motherwell's Scott McDonald whistled a shot wide at the other end.
That showed his shot-shy teammates the way to goal and Ainsworth aimed to add to Motherwell's miserable pre-match tally of 22 league goals with a bursting run through the middle, but his shot was a comfortable save for Michael McGovern.
And, the home side should have had the lead when Johnson appeared to have picked out Erwin at the back post only for Jesus Garcia Tena to get a foot in to direct it wide.
Accies were in no mood to concede control of the game and Dougie Imrie's first-time left foot volley cracked the outside of the post.
They threatened again when Josh Law's bizarre shot aimed at his own goal curled just wide.
It had been an absorbing contest, and it was left to Ainsworth to finally find the goals the game deserved.
Stephen Pearson rolled a quick free-kick into his path and he sent a scorching 30-yard shot past McGovern.
Just 21 seconds after the restart it was a 2-0 - Ainsworth getting onto the end of Johnston's left-wing cross at the back post.
As Accies struggled to compose themselves they almost conceded a third. Ainsworth's acrobatic effort was tipped away before Erwin headed back into the area, but he could not get it over the line.
Any hope of a Hamilton fight back became more difficult to imagine when Lyon was given a straight red card for a lunge at Johnson, but within moments of his ordering off substitute Nigel Hasselbaink outmuscled his marker to drag a shot just wide.
Hasselbaink again went close as the visitors refused to wilt, but he pushed his shot the wrong side of the post.
Motherwell kept going forward in the hunt for more and after Ainsworth shot wide he turned provider to pick out Sutton in the box who headed in from close range.
After Ainsworth's substitution it was left to Sutton to double his tally from the penalty spot.
- 7AinsworthSubstituted forMooreat 81'minutes
- 24JohnsonSubstituted forThomasat 86'minutes
- 77McDonaldSubstituted forSuttonat 78'minutes
- 2GordonBooked at 83mins
- 24TenaBooked at 64mins
- 7ImrieBooked at 29minsSubstituted forBrophyat 81'minutes
- 12LyonBooked at 65mins
- 28RedmondSubstituted forLongridgeat 75'minutes
- 9ScotlandSubstituted forHasselbainkat 66'minutes
- Calum Murray
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 4, Hamilton Academical 0.
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael McGovern.
Attempt saved. Lee Erwin (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Josh Law (Motherwell).
Nigel Hasselbaink (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Marvin Johnson.
Attempt saved. Nigel Hasselbaink (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Goal! Motherwell 4, Hamilton Academical 0. John Sutton (Motherwell) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.
Penalty Motherwell. Lee Erwin draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) after a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Dougie Imrie.
Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Moore replaces Lionel Ainsworth.
Goal! Motherwell 3, Hamilton Academical 0. John Sutton (Motherwell) header from very close range to the top left corner. Assisted by Lionel Ainsworth.
Substitution, Motherwell. John Sutton replaces Scott McDonald.
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael Devlin.
Attempt missed. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Louis Longridge replaces Daniel Redmond.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Josh Law.